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2007-03-24

Practical Fusion Research Stifled

Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of practical television, whose genius you've relied on to watch mind-numbing network TV, was a polymath and inventor of many other things; one was inertial electrostatic confinement, which he turned into an early (i.e., not generating more power than it takes to run) nuclear fusion reactor.

Starting in the middle of Tuesday's Mail, the esteemed First Blogger has started discussing Dr. Bussard's refinements of the Farnsworth Fusor.

Sadly, after Bussard blew up his lab (always a sign in physics you've done something interesting), he asked to rebuild, but DOD won't renew funding.

Here's the Executive Summary with links to more details, i.e., a NYT story (2MB PDF) discussing Bussand and others, a small (1.5MB PDF) paper, Should Google Go Nuclear?, a lengthy paper (4.6MB) presented at last year's International Astronautical Congress, a streaming video of a presentation at Google HQ, and a few pix of apparatus along with a link to a supporting 501(c)(3) to send donations to. Said 501(c)(3) has a track record and nine years of IRS Form 901s on line, so 'confidence is high' as they say in the intel. biz.

So, if you know any angels with big bucks, send them this article, and then ask what would happen to their investments if our economy had cheap power and cheaper space flight.

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